I'm sure you've heard and/or seen Rick Santorum's comments about how President Obama wants everyone to go to college (long pause) "What a snob!" He says this with total disgust and dismissal. Then says Obama wants to make all these students like him, and says it with even more disgust.
As others have pointed out, including Jon Stewart in his opening bit tonight. that doesn't even make sense. The very definition of "snob" is one who is elitist, a snob about college would be someone who doesn't want to let others in, doesn't want them to have the opportunity to even go to college.
Even if Obama had said anything like that, it would again be the opposite of snobby, wanting everyone to have the same opportunities he did. But he didn't say that, he said he wanted everyone to have the opportunity to go beyond high school for some kind of further education, even if only for a year at a technical school, exactly what Santorum later, trying to clarify, said he wanted, and he also said he wanted his own kids to get a higher education.
This was the Nixon strategy. He was so resentful at having lost to JFK in 1960, a Harvard graduate, he tapped into the resentments of anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-anything Kennedy and "his kind" could be made to represent, including Ivy League educated Democrats. A strategy the Republicans used ever since, including against Kerry and now Obama. (And managed to convince at least their followers that Harvard educated New England royalty Bush Junior was a Texas "cowboy" or at least "rancher" on a "ranch" that had no cattle, bought just before his run for president and which he pretty much avoids since leaving the presidency.)
The disdain seems obviously to be a cover for envy and insecurity. Envy of people like JFK's and Obama's intellectual fluency, cool charisma, and mastery of our common language. But the Republican propagandists have run over the Democrats over the past several decades, except for Bill Clinton, who with his down home good ol' boy roots couldn't be pigeonholed that way no matter how hard they tried. And they mostly did it with resentment toward those who sound like they actually understand what should be our common language. Where the definition of a snob isn't Obama wanting to include everyone in, that's the opposite of snob, but Santorum and his ilk who want to have a college education for their kids, but the rest of our kids can fend for themselves, and anyone who suggests our kids should have the same education as Santorum's is a snob.
It's more than a bubble these republicans and rightwingers live in, it's an entire other world where the language we are supposed to have in common and they claim to love so much they want it to be the "official"language—English—but then they can't even use it correctly. Except their listeners applaud anyway, because they get the message, which is simply hatred for everything Obama is and stands for.
Man, would I love to write the literacy test that rightwingers would have to pass in order to vote. Wouldn't that be a trip. But unlike their snobby past (and present where they are doing everything to keep minorities and the poor from being able to vote) we of the other persuasion (anything other than rightwing Republicanism) don't believe in voters having to pass tests to have their say in a democracy.